Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 floatplane, c. 1924.

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Japanese copy of the Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 floatplane, c. 1924, flown by the Kasumigaura Aviation Unit at the Imperial Japanese Navy’s naval flying academy, Ibaraki Prefecture. After Germany’s surrender in 1918, a number of surviving Kaiserliche Marine floatplanes were awarded as war prizes to the Allies, including Japan, for evaluation and service.

See also:
Nakajima E4N2 reconnaissance floatplane, military recruitment postcard, c. 1935.
Nakajima E8N, “Dave”, c. 1935-45.

“The Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 was a German two-seat fighter floatplane which served in the closing months of World War I with the Imperial German Navy’s Naval Air Service (Marine-Fliegerabteilung) from bases on the North Sea coast. After the Armistice in 1918, some examples were turned over to the victorious Allies for evaluation.

“The Royal Danish Navy purchased at least three aircraft by 1919 and built more under license which were phased out of service in 1930. Some aircraft sold on the civilian market after being discarded by the military were used as mail planes and fishery spotting duties. Other were modified with a passenger cabin replacing the aft cockpit. Only the Imperial Japanese Navy ordered copies into production which remained in service until the early 1930s.

“The I.J.N. aircraft were produced as the ‘Hansa-type Reconnaissance Seaplane’ by the Aichi Aircraft Co. and the Nakajima Aircraft Co. as a replacement for the Yokosuka Ro-go Ko-gata floatplane, beginning in 1924. Although the dimensions of the Japanese Hansas were almost identical to those of the W.29, the floatplane was disliked by the Japanese pilots. They complained of poor downward visibility, poor directional control on the water, that it was difficult to land and was less maneuverable than the Yokosuka floatplane.

“Despite the problems the Hansas were used by the seaplane carrier Wakamiya in exercises in 1924 and 1925 and aboard battleships and light cruisers. They remained in front-line service until May 1929 and into the early 1930s as training aircraft. Some survivors were then sold on the civilian market and used as mail planes, for fish spotting duties and as transports, modified with a four-passenger cabin replacing the rear cockpit.”


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